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5 IT Job Interview Mistakes New Grads Make

Hiring managers expect more from newly minted IT grads than ever. Establish a GitHub presence -- and avoid other common blunders.

you'd like to be paid competitively or comparatively to the market. "Sometimes you'll be in a situation where they say, 'We only have a budget for X amount; would you take it?' You can always decide later that you don't want the job because of the money, but don't make it an issue up front."

Petralia pointed out that it's important to prove your worth first. "Show that you can help this company move in the right direction."

4. You don't ask questions
When the hiring manager asks at the end of the interview if you have any questions, always be prepared to ask a few.

"I hate interviewing people where I ask all the questions, and then I ask if they have any questions for me -- and they don't," Padir said. "You need to have at least one to show you are engaged."

"A lot of people think that when this question comes up, it's the end of the interview," Petralia added. "This is another opportunity to show that your experience is relevant: Ask about tech platforms in regards to your skill set; ask about culture or what projects are in their pipeline."

5. You don't say thank you
Once the interview is over, you must write a thank-you note to everyone who interviewed you, Petralia said.

"Touch on the basics that you talked about. This will make you stand out and make your candidacy fresh in their minds," she said. "Be sure to reiterate your interest in the role and thank them for their time. Forgetting a thank-you letter is a huge no-no."

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
5/12/2014 | 8:09:17 AM
Thank you letter: Is this global?
Kristin,

I wonder if the thank you letter is equally considered in every part of the world, or if it's something that has some more attention in the US. Any idea about this? 

Do they really have the time to read thank you letters? What if there is a perfect candidate for the job, but he doesn't write a thank you letter? Is he disqualified? 

-Susan
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2014 | 1:11:11 AM
Re: Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
yes, as everyone do like to see personalization touch... a lot of the time in the field of cosmetics sales... handwriten note used to attract customer attention...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2014 | 1:03:13 AM
Re: being paid competitively
Joe, I could not agree more... right on the money so to say
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2014 | 1:00:06 AM
Re: Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
interesting to know... and for the kids starting up they life in IT it a bit scary...
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2014 | 5:22:12 PM
Re: being paid competitively
I tend to stay away from job postings where you're required to provide salary expectations as part of your application package, before they even meet you.  That may have been appropriate for summer jobs when you're a teenager, but in big boy (and girl) land, that just smells of a cheap company.  And if the company is going to be cheap in that particular way, you can expect them to be cheap in other areas as well -- such as training and development.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2014 | 5:19:36 PM
Re: Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
Better yet, if you can, try to get a job at a company where decisions aren't made on the basis of something as insipid as the rapidity of Thank You note-sending.

And if you sneeze in the interview, casually fold your legs and clandestinely wipe your boogers on your sock.
rodneymbliss
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rodneymbliss,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 4:43:35 PM
Re: Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
Buy a package of generic thank you notes and keep them in your car. After the interview go to your car and write the notes in your car. Address them with the interviewers name on the envelope and drop them off with the receptionist before you leave.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/9/2014 | 12:04:14 PM
Re: Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
Interesting, I just had a conversation about the demise of hand-written thank you notes. It is true e-mail gets there faster. This is your chance to close the deal, so speed does matter. However, a hand-written note stands out. Which do you prefer?
Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
5/9/2014 | 11:24:43 AM
Thank You E-mails | Interview Start and End
(1) Send the thank you notes quickly. Some companies start making decisions shortly after you walk out the door. E-mail is acceptable these days. Snail mail takes too long. Since surprisingly few applicants send a thank you, doing this is an easy way to stand out.

(2) Remember that the interview starts as soon as you walk in the door and doesn't end until you walk out (and maybe even extends to the parking lot).  At some companies, even the receptionist will have an opinion on your suitability that could be factored into the hiring decision.  Be nice to EVERYONE.

 
donderrins
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donderrins,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 10:32:19 AM
Re: being paid competitively
They are more experienced but there are many online websites and tools so that you can be informed beforehand. Check out Glassdoor, Indeed, Salary Fairy, etc and see what you should expect. When you know the market you can hardly get lowballed.
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Research: 2014 US IT Salary Survey
Research: 2014 US IT Salary Survey
Our survey of nearly 12,000 respondents shows IT pays well -- staffers rack up a median total compensation of $92,000, and managers hit $120,000. Industry matters. And the gender pay gap is real and getting wider.
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